Settle in with six hearty soup recipes

All kitchenware from Pryde’s Kitchen and Necessities in Westport

With days growing shorter and the weather getting chillier, there’s no better time to gather friends together for an easy one-pot meal loaded with flavor

We all have our associations of flavors that go with the changing of the seasons: the smokiness of meats from an autumn tailgate, the aroma of warm pies just out of the oven, the yeasty goodness of fresh hot rolls, slathered with butter. But it’s hard to compete with the first spoonful of a rich soup, chowder or chili on a crisp autumn day.

We’ve collected six soul-satisfying recipes that highlight the hearty vegetables of the season. Add good bread and a simple green salad and you have a comforting meal to enjoy with family or friends. Grab a bowl!

Fresh Beet Soup

Serves 4-6
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
2 large celery sticks, finely chopped
1 large carrot (purple if possible), finely chopped
3 large beets, peeled and finely chopped  
31/2   cups vegetable stock, unsalted
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced or minced   
To serve:
2 ounces feta cheese
Fresh dill
Heat olive oil in a deep saucepan and add the onions, celery and carrot. Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften and brown slightly.
Add the beets to the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes. Now, add the stock and garlic. Cover and allow to simmer until soft all the way through, approximately 30 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and leave the soup to stand for 5 minutes, then blitz the soup in a food processor or use an emersion blender until the texture is very smooth. Serve with a crumbling of feta and some chopped fresh dill.

Cauliflower Chowder

Serves 8
8 slices of bacon, chopped
6 green onions, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper  
4   cups shredded or grated cauliflower  
2 tablespoons water   
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
Hot sauce, to taste
To serve:
21/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 green onions, chopped or chopped cilantro
Whisk together flour and 1/4 cup of the chicken broth in a small bowl, set aside. Sauté bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate then remove all but 1 tablespoon drippings from the pot. Add chopped onion, celery, and garlic to the pot then season with salt and pepper and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add cauliflower, stir to combine. Add water then place a lid on top and steam until cauliflower is tender, stir occasionally, about 5-7 minutes. Add remaining chicken broth and milk, turn up heat and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in flour/chicken broth mixture while stirring, turn down heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until chowder has thickened. Turn off heat; stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese a little at a time until smooth, then stir in half the cooked bacon. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if necessary, and hot sauce. Serve topped with remaining shredded cheese, cooked bacon, green onions or cilantro.

Tomato Soup with Mini Grilled Cheese

Serves 4
1/2 cup carrot, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil  
1   can (24.46-ounce) unsalted chopped tomatoes, undrained  
1 cup vegetable stock, unsalted   
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
8 celery leaves, coarsely chopped
Mini Grilled Cheese:
8 slices white bread, 1/2 thick
Montery Jack cheese, 1/8-inch thick
Cheddar cheese, 1/8-inch thick
Unsalted butter
Place the first 4 ingredients in a food processor; process until finely chopped.  Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the pan; swirl to coat. Add the vegetable mixture to the pan; cook 5 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes to the food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add the tomatoes, stock, pepper and salt to pan; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low; simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the butter and celery leaves.
Directions for grilled cheese. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Layer cheeses on four slices of bread, top with the remaining bread. Generously butter both outer sides of the sandwiches. Place in skillet, pressing down lightly with the back of a spatula. Cook until golden brown on each side and the cheese has completely melted, 3-4 minutes per side. Cut diagonally into quarters.
Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and serve with the mini grilled cheese sandwiches skewered on a wooden pick.

Winter Squash Soup with Avocado Salsa

Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups butternut squash, ½-inch cubed and peeled
1 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 dried red de arbol chile, seeded and crumbled  
1   teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt   
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
2 15-ounce cans hominy, undrained
Avocado Salsa:
2/3 cup diced avocado
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon diced jalapeño pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
11/2 teaspoons grated lime rind
11/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup sour cream
Heat a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan; swirl to coat. Add the squash, onion, oregano and chile; cook 10 minutes or until the onion and squash begin to brown, stirring frequently. Add the paprika, salt, red pepper (if desired) and undrained hominy; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes or until the squash is tender, add  a little water if necessary.
For salsa: Combine the avocado, cilantro, jalapeño  and oil in a small bowl. Stir in the rind and juice.
To serve: Ladle the hominy mixture in bowls and top with the salsa, cheese and sour cream. Serve immediately.

Ginger Carrot Soup

Serves 4
3 tablespoons butter
11/2 pounds carrots, sliced ¼ inch thick
1 small sweet onion, ¼ inch dice
2 inches ginger root, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8   teaspoon chili pepper
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon dried mustard
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1 orange, zest removed in strips and juice reserved
1/2 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
To serve:
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup roasted pistachios, salted
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Melt butter in a large saucepot. Add carrots, onion and all spices and sweat until onions are translucent. Add orange zest and stock, bring to a simmer and then cook until all vegetables are soft, about 15-20 minutes. Add soup and orange juice to blender and blend until very smooth, adding more orange juice or water until desired consistency is reached. Adjust seasoning as desired.  Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with yogurt, pistachios and olive oil.

Five-Bean Chili

Serves 6-8
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded & diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
5   tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
11/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
11/2 pounds ground turkey
2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can great northern beans, drained & rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
21/2 cups chicken stock

To serve:
Fresh cilantro
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add green pepper, onion, jalapeño, garlic and seasonings. Cook until vegetables have softened. Add ground turkey and cook over medium-high heat until turkey is cooked through. Stir in tomatoes, beans and stock and simmer until heated through. Garnish with cilantro.





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